Wednesday, August 22, 2018

#234 / Bless What There Is

I have just finished Thinking Without A Banister, a collection of essays and other writings by Hannah Arendt. The book is subtitled, "Essays in Understanding." I commend it to you. 

The last of the writings in the book is a tribute to W.H. Auden, "Remembering Wystan H. Auden, Who Died In The Night of the Twenty-Eighth of September, 1973." Arendt herself died in 1975, so this essay is not her "last word," but it is given place as her final words in the series of wonderful writings collected in Thinking Without A Banister.

At the conclusion of Arendt's words on Auden, she quotes from his poem, Precious Five. It seems to me that these words from Auden express (though of course much more profoundly) what I was trying to say in my blog posting yesterday. I commend this poem to you. 

In fact, to each of us have these words have been commended. That is the message that Auden brings:

I could (which you cannot)
Find reasons fast enough
To face the sky and roar
In anger and despair
At what is going on,
Demanding that it name
Whoever is to blame:
The sky would only wait
Till all my breath was gone
And then reiterate
As if I wasn't there
That singular command
I do not understand,
Bless what there is for being,
Which has to be obeyed, for
What else am I made for,
Agreeing or disagreeing?

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